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Frank Simpson (Earth-616)

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Quote1 They'll see, sir. They'll see now. America doesn't run. America doesn't lose. And I plan on killing the traitors. Quote2
-- Nuke src

Early life

Frank Simpson (Earth-616) 0001

Simpson as Nuke

Frank Simpson was the disturbed son of a wealthy, abusive, alcoholic, upper-class woman in Ohio. Frank soon developed an unhealthy affection for his babysitter, the only real maternal figure in his life. The young woman, who was harboring feelings for his father Charles, capitalized on Frank's affection and talked the boy into killing his mother. Wolverine, whom at that time was an operative for Weapon Plus had been sent to kidnap Frank. Logan showed up, dressed as a police officer. He then stalked Charles Simpson and the babysitter; eventually shooting the girl with Charles' gun, after which Charles committed suicide. Wolverine then went to Frank's place and abducted him for Project: Homegrown. [4]

Vietnam War

Frank Simpson (Earth-616) 0003

Scared by Wolverine

Years later, Frank was sent into the Vietnam War as a black-ops agent. Captured by the Viet Cong, Frank was severely tortured by Logan (who was posing as a Russian intelligence liaison), shattering Frank's still unbalanced mind. While torturing Nuke (even carving into his face the American flag that years later would become part of his super-powered personality) Logan implanted the phrase "No V.C.!" as a trigger word, along with the compulsion to kill gruesomely, in retaliation for the tortures suffered, anyone who uttered the words. He then allowed Frank to escape, testing his work with a village of peasants, who, seeing an American soldier, tried to soothe his anger and convince him to spare them, shouting the "No V.C.!" phrase, meaning that they weren't Viet Cong. Frank, in response to the trigger word, burnt the village to the ground killing every inhabitant. The experiment being a success, Logan was instated as the handler of the human weapon. Due to his trauma, Nuke often hallucinates that the enemies he is fighting are the Viet Cong.[5][1]

Project Homegrown

Adrenaline Pills 0001

Adrenaline Pills.

At some time during the war, Nuke was then inducted into the final part of the Project Homegrown, the Weapon VII program, part of the Weapon Plus program, the super-soldier program that had created Captain America and would later transform Wolverine into a killing machine. They turned him into a partial cyborg with a sub-dermal mesh able to deflect bullets, and a second heart that, working in conjunction with some Adrenaline Pills, controlled his aggression, leaving him addicted as well. His whereabouts after the war are still unknown.[6][7]


Frank Simpson (Earth-616) 0006

Nuke resurfaced, employed by Generalissimo Felix Guillermo Caridad, of Tierra Verde, to destroy a rebel base. Carridad was impressed with his skills, and he enjoyed using Nuke periodically as a superhuman iconic symbol.[8] Kingpin hired Nuke through several corrupt military officials and sent him to kill Daredevil. Nuke went on a rampage in New York City, blowing up part of Hell's Kitchen, causing Daredevil and the Avengers to capture him. He escaped soon after, going for Daredevil again, but was intercepted by Captain America and shot by a military chopper. Apparently dead, he was in fact taken in care by the Government, still controlled by the Tierra Verde enclave.[9][10]

Origins Events

Frank Simpson (Earth-616) 0007

After Wolverine discovered his full past and set out to take care of loose ends, the U.S. government dispatched Nuke, who was kept at the United States embassy in Chile, to hunt down Wolverine. [11]

Wolverine, with some efforts, quickly dispatched his foe, seeking a way to redeem, or kill him. After the battle he discovered that Nuke's enhanced physiology was further mutated, and he has become a cyborg, with artificial limbs, bones and skull, able to survive and being rebuilt after the most gruesome injuries, yet devoid of any personality or conscience.[4]

Thunderbolts Vol 1 131 Variant Clint Langley

Frank as Scourge

Acknowledging that now he was beyond any hope of redemption, he tried to kill him, only to be stopped by Captain America, who had arrived because he believed that Nuke was a failed subject of the Super Soldier Program.[12] Now without any legs, the leftovers of Nuke's body were handed over to Emma Frost by Wolverine, who wanted Emma to try to restore Nuke's broken mind if possible. Logan also told Emma Frost that should restoring Nuke's mind be impossible, she was to call Logan so that he could come back to kill Nuke.[13]


Thunderbolts Vol 1 138 Textless
Norman Osborn adds a man named Scourge to his black ops team the Thunderbolts; Osborn seems to know who Scourge is, but does not reveal Scourge's identity.[14] On their next mission, Osborn orders Yelena Belova to lead the current Thunderbolts to kill former Thunderbolt, Songbird. During the mission, Osborn promotes Scourge to field leader, and Belova is revealed to be the original Black Widow, Natasha Romanova in disguise.[15] Scourge leads the team into capturing the Black Widow, Songbird,[16] and Nick Fury[17][18] [19] When Scourge orders the Thunderbolts to execute Songbird, Headsman turns on him and tries to kill him. Paladin helps out by shooting Scourge, and Ghost used an electro-convulsive shock to make Scourge forget what happened as Songbird and the Black Widow escape. When Osborn confronts Scourge about the botched mission, the man reveals himself to be Nuke, stating that his new name is not who he really is; Osborn then demotes Nuke from the position of team leader.[20] He is then assigned to assassinate the Agents of Atlas with the Thunderbolts.
Thunderbolts Vol 1 139 Textless
When the Agents of Atlas arrive he and the Thunderbolts attack them. While Venus was singing he has hallucinations about women he's killed and fires his gun wildly at Venus. He is then taken down by Namora. After he comes to, he picks up a sword and slices Bob Grayson's stomach open and is then attacked by Ken Hale.[21] When Venus realizes Bob is dead she starts crying causing a more negative effect than her singing and he sees a world with no more war. Bob then reveals that he was not dead but projecting a mental illusion while investigating Frank's mind. As the Agents of Atlas escape, Jimmy Woo and Bob plant a command in Frank's mind to assassinate Norman Osborn on contact. When the Thunderbolts return to base Norman leaves a recorded message for the team by seeing Normans face, Frank pulls out his gun and fires killing Cleavon Twain.[22] The team battled Spider-Woman.[23]
Frank Simpson (Earth-616) from Thunderbolts Vol 1 141


Thunderbolts Vol 1 137 page 27 Frank Simpson (Earth-616)

Vs. Luke Cage

During Siege, Nuke and the Thunderbolts fought against the Mighty Avengers.[24] The Thunderbolts sought out the Spear of Odin to help Osborn storm Asgard. Nuke battled ferociously with US Agent for the Spear and after an intense battle, seriously injured and dismembered US Agent with the Spear.[25]

Before Nuke could bring the Spear to his "master", Osborn, he was betrayed and shot by his fellow Thunderbolt Paladin who took the spear from him and with the help of another Thunderbolt, in the shape of Ant-Man, made sure that Osborn didn't get his hands on the spear.[26][27]

The Heroic Age

After the battle of Siege climaxed, a grievously injured Nuke was left in a coma and captured by authorities where he was taken to the Raft to receive medical treatment and serve out a sentence for his crimes.The surviving US Agent, who was now crippled, bitterly insisted that any attempt to bring him out of his coma was a waste of time as Nuke has no chance of ever reforming. Steve Rogers shared similar feelings and saw little reason to try and salvage Nuke, as he was far beyond saving, and any revival would likely just allow him to fall back into the hands of someone who would use him for further killing. Steve had also appeared to have made peace with his unease for being the basis of the creation of Nuke.[28]

Most recently, Simpson had been spotted in Eastern Europe, still attacking individuals he perceived as enemies of America. He was allied and handled by the "Iron Nail" until Captain America urged him to stop his unnecessary violence.[29] Taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, Dr. Mindbubble ignited a massive explosion inside of Nuke's body which killed him.[30]

Death of Wolverine

Frank Simpson (Earth-616) 012

Nuke's back

Later, it is revealed that he survived (albeit with a shaved head) and he and some mercenaries took a contract from Viper to bring her the Wolverine alive. They confronted a bartender in British Columbia, Canada, he showed them a map which marked an island left by Wolverine for who came for him. He sent one of his men to the bay, which he knew was set to explode. Logan sank the boat from below and killed his men as they tried to swim, leaving only the two of them. Wolverine defeated Nuke by head-butting him with his Adamantium skull. Logan told him to spread the word that he is the last one he lets live and forced him to tell him who put the bounty.[31]


Wolverine Origins Vol 1 3 Textless

Nuke fighting Wolverine

  • Cybernetic Enhancements: Simpson possesses various superhuman physical attributes as a result of various cybernetic enhancements.[3]
    • Superhuman Strength: Simpson's bones have been replaced with advanced cybernetic components, granting him superhuman strength of an unrevealed limit.[3]
    • Superhuman Durability: Simpson's body is considerably more resistant to physical injury than that of an ordinary human. Nuke's skin has been replaced with an artificial type of plastic that looks identical to human skin but is much more durable. [3]
    • Artificial second Heart: In addition, he has an artificial second heart that works in conjunction with his colored pills. [3]
    • Healing Factor: Simpson's accelerated metabolism feeds on his increased adrenaline, which enables him to heal from injuries over a good night's sleep.


  • Experienced soldier, Nuke was a savage fighter, and very good with all types of firearms, and very deadly in knife combat, he's also an expert in hand to hand combat.[32]

Strength level



Frank Simpson (Earth-616) from Thunderbolts Vol 1 140

Nuke fighting Wolverine

  • Schizophrenia: Simpson is the victim of decades of systematic physical and mental abuse and conditioning at the hands of various individuals working for the United States government. As a result, Nuke is insane. He is now little more than a puppet in the hands of his current handler, and able only to follow issued commands.Nuke is completely schizophrenic, suffering from hallucinations. When Venus' song hits him, his greatest desires turn into nightmares, including his fear of the loss of war.[33]


  • Adrenaline Pills: Simpson has a second heart, and takes different colored pills to produce different bodily effects. Nuke's pill colors are: red, for increased adrenaline; white, to bring him down; and blue, to relax.[32]


  • Conventional US Army vehicles.[33]


  • "Betsy" Nuke used an enormous sub-machine gun nicknamed "Betsy" in his missions. Besides conventional machine gun ammunition, Betsy also held six light artillery rounds and two incendiary missiles. On Betsy's side Nuke used an LED counter to count the number of fatalities he had inflicted with his weapon. Nuke also had an unmarked military helicopter for air support, operated by an unnamed colonel. Frank is also equipped with various knives.[33]

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wolverine: Origins #2
  2. Marvel Legacy: The 1980's Handbook #1; "Where are they now"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #8
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wolverine: Origins #3
  5. Wolverine Vol 2 #18
  6. New X-Men #145
  7. Wolverine: Origins #39
  8. Daredevil #232
  9. Daredevil #233
  10. Web of Spider-Man #30
  11. Wolverine: Origins #1-2
  12. Wolverine: Origins #4
  13. Wolverine: Origins #5
  14. Thunderbolts #133
  15. Thunderbolts #134
  16. Thunderbolts #135
  17. Secret Warriors #7
  18. Secret Warriors #8
  19. Captain America: Reborn #3
  20. Thunderbolts #136
  21. Thunderbolts #137
  22. Thunderbolts #138
  23. Spider-Woman Vol 4 #4
  24. Mighty Avengers #36
  25. Thunderbolts #139
  26. Thunderbolts #140-145
  27. Thunderbolts #163.1
  28. Captain America Vol 7 #11
  29. Captain America Vol 7 #12-15
  30. Captain America Vol 7 #17
  31. Death of Wolverine #1
  32. 32.0 32.1 Heroic Age: Villains #1
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 Marvel Legacy: The 1980's Handbook #1
  34. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 8

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